5 South Asian Platforms breaking the Abortion Stigma

Discover how South Asian platforms are shattering abortion stigma and advocating for reproductive rights with resilience and compassion.

5 South Asian Platforms breaking the Abortion Stigma

They gather monthly to provide listening ears

In many cultural contexts, the discussion around abortion remains veiled in silence, compounded by deeply ingrained taboos and societal pressures.

However, within the South Asian community, a wave of platforms have risen to challenge these norms

These organisations provide practical support and a sanctuary for individuals grappling with this often-taboo subject.

Additionally, these platforms represent a seismic shift in how abortion is perceived and addressed within South Asian communities.

From researching to dismantling misconceptions to providing holistic support, these initiatives create a more inclusive and safer space for those in need.

Safe Abortion For Everyone (SAFE)

5 South Asian Platforms breaking the Abortion Stigma

Via the YP Foundation, SAFE (Safe Abortion For Everyone) champions the cause of comprehensive abortion services in India.

It achieves this goal by researching to gather evidence and fostering youth-led advocacy through diverse online courses and fellowships in multiple languages.

The SAFE Program adopts a multifaceted strategy to enhance access to information and resources.

Through reports, capacity building, and youth-led advocacy, SAFE addresses prevalent misconceptions surrounding abortion in regions like Assam, Delhi, and Kerala.

Additionally, it empowers young individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills through free online courses designed to be rights-based, intersectional, and tailored to youth needs. 

Furthermore, the program employs social media campaigns to raise awareness among young people, combat social stigma, and dispel misinformation surrounding abortion.

Find out more here

Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP)

5 South Asian Platforms breaking the Abortion Stigma

ASAP envisions a society where Asian women experience dignity, with their sexual and reproductive rights and health fully realised.

This is achieved by advocating for access to comprehensive safe abortion services while working to reduce unsafe abortion and its associated complications.

Their first objective is to enhance the availability of evidence-based information on safe abortion, including medical abortion, and to facilitate its dissemination among members and relevant stakeholders.

The second objective focuses on building the capacities of the network and its members.

The third objective centres on promoting technologies and service delivery systems for safer abortion access.

Lastly, the fourth objective aims to elevate the visibility of a rights-based approach to safe abortion at local, regional, and global forums.

Their overarching goal is to advance women’s sexual rights and health across Asia.

In line with their values, ASAP advocates for equitable access to reproductive services, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence, within a framework of social justice. 

Check them out here


5 South Asian Platforms breaking the Abortion Stigma

Ad’iyah identifies itself as a Muslim Abortion Collective, embodying its essence as a community of Muslims who have undergone experiences of pregnancy termination.

They gather monthly to provide listening ears, support, and prayers (dua) for one another.

While there’s an opportunity for sharing abortion stories, there’s also a space for silent solidarity within shared experiences.

Ad’iyah advocates for abortion to be freely accessible, legal, supported, empowering, embodied, and esteemed.

The plural nature of their name signifies that abortion care and support should be ongoing.

Ad’iyah massively emphasises the embracing nature of their platform and urges people to revisit them any time, regardless of when their abortion occurred or how they feel about it.

See more of their work here

South Asians for Abortion

5 South Asian Platforms breaking the Abortion Stigma

Following the decline of Roe v. Wade, the urgency and magnitude of the challenges faced by South Asian communities are profound.

In response, SOAR established South Asians for Abortion, an online platform mobilising South Asians in support of abortion rights, reproductive justice, and bodily autonomy in post-Roe America.

This digital platform aims to serve as a hub for the movement. 

It offers a space to share and read abortion stories, contribute to mobilisation efforts, and engage in advocacy prioritising South Asians.

While SOAR focuses on South Asian communities, it firmly advocates for the reproductive freedom and healing of all marginalised groups.

The advisors of South Asian SOAR represent pillars of expertise, serving as sounding boards and trusted mentors for the organisation. 

Visit their website here

Muslim Women’s Network (MWN)

5 South Asian Platforms breaking the Abortion Stigma 

Muslim women and girls often face challenges when considering abortion, influenced by their faith or external pressures.

Reasons for not wanting to continue the pregnancy may include fear of honour-based violence, marital breakdown, coercion to abort due to the child’s gender, and the mother’s health.

The MWN Helpline refrains from imposing personal or cultural views on abortion and neither encourages nor discourages it.

They acknowledge that women and girls may have diverse reasons for their decisions.

However, the helpline offers a supportive listening ear and provides relevant information to assist individuals in making informed choices.

The helpline functions as a national specialist service, specifically tailored to accommodate faith and cultural sensitivities.

It ensures confidentiality and a non-judgmental environment, offering information, support, guidance, and referrals.

In addition, for complex cases requiring sustained assistance over weeks or months, comprehensive support is provided through dedicated case workers.

While the majority of users are Muslim women, MWN extends their support to men, women from other faiths, and those of no faith.

Find out more here

As the conversation surrounding abortion continues to evolve, it is imperative to acknowledge the pivotal role played by these South Asian platforms.

They are reshaping attitudes, policies, and practices surrounding reproductive health.

By amplifying the voices of survivors and engaging in advocacy efforts, these platforms are ushering in a new era of inclusivity and compassion.

As they continue to pave the way for meaningful change, it is essential to lend our support and solidarity to their endeavours.

Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

Images courtesy of Instagram.

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